This feature is preceded by a short film from Marvel Entertainment and ESPN Films' 1 of 1: Origins series, Colin Kaepernick: If you know football, you know one of its biggest stars, QB Colin Kaepernick. Yet, it was on the baseball diamond that a young Colin would be forever changed. At 12, he was already a stand-out athlete, head and shoulders over his peers in both size and skill. But on one fateful day, the hits were not coming, his fielding was off and his attitude was bad. His father would see this opportunity as a moment to help redirect Colin’s life and forever alter his destiny.
Fifty years before Felix Baumgartner and his epic skydive from space in 2012, there was Nick Piantanida, an eccentric and charismatic pet store owner from New Jersey who turned down an offer from the New York Knicks to pursue his dream of breaking the world record for highest parachute jump. The problem? He had no formal training, college education, or money. Though what he lacked in means he more than made up for in sheer determination. At the height of the Cold War, Nick managed to convince the US Army, investors, and engineers that he was the man for the job, and launched the first civilian space program. Insightful, and lively use of archival footage paired with stunning space photography brings us into the world of this unique underdog. Nick is a true larger-than-life figure who with his movie-star looks, loving family, and strong vision is a real inspiration. In interviews with friends and family he is remembered fondly, and clearly admired by many. Director Jeff Tremaine pieces together a remarkable portrait of Nick, cementing his place in history. —Jule Rozite
Jeff Tremaine is one of the original creators of MTV’s Jackass. Tremaine also created and executive produced MTV’s Wildboyz, Rob & Big, Nitro Circus, Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory, Ridiculousness, and Adult Swim’s Loiter Squad. He is currently prepping The Dirt, a narrative film about Mötley Crüe.